Flyers

NHL trade deadline: Flyers acquire Nate Thompson in trade with Canadiens

NHL trade deadline: Flyers acquire Nate Thompson in trade with Canadiens

Updated: 2:30 p.m.

VOORHEES, N.J. — The Flyers have added some insurance in their bottom six.

Ahead of Monday's 3 p.m. ET trade deadline, the Flyers acquired 35-year-old forward Nate Thompson from the Canadiens in exchange for a 2021 fifth-round draft pick.

Shortly after, the Flyers made another move by bringing in forward Derek Grant (see story).

Thompson, who has played for seven teams over 13 years in the NHL, put up 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in 63 games for Montreal. The veteran has a $1 million cap hit and can become an unrestricted free agent in the offseason, so he fit the Flyers' plans in that regard.

Thompson will give the Flyers an experienced center the team felt it needed over its final 20 games. While the youth has played well for the Flyers, Joel Farabee and Connor Bunnaman were loaned to AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley following Monday's practice. Farabee might not be down for long, while Morgan Frost and Nolan Patrick are also in the picture at center (see story).

The Flyers, though, liked Thompson's fourth-line makeup and penalty kill ability. Thompson also has 62 playoff games on his résumé.

"When a guy comes in, steps in, helps his new teammates win, he’s usually really accepted real quickly and guys are happy to see him," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said. "I think with the two guys that we’ve added, Thompson’s clearly a fourth-line centerman with some experience and he’s a good penalty killer. That’s an area where we wanted help and we’ll have to figure out where Grant fits in here. For our forward group, I think this is positive."

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Thompson is used to seeing limited ice time and key shorthanded minutes.

"I have been around long enough," Thompson said Monday on a conference call. "My role has never really changed. ... I’m just going to come in and play my role and do what I have to do to help this team win and just have fun doing it. It sounds like a great group of guys here. I’m excited to be a part of it and I can’t wait to get going.

"It’s exciting. To have this chance to play on a really good team that has had a really good year all year. I’m just excited. I feel like I am just going to relish the opportunity."

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Flyers Talk podcast: Analyzing scenarios for Stanley Cup Playoffs

Flyers Talk podcast: Analyzing scenarios for Stanley Cup Playoffs

On the latest Flyers Talk podcast, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Katie Emmer and Jordan Hall are joined by Joe Fordyce, the Flyers Pre and Postgame Live producer.

From multiple interviews to the format of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, let's dive in:

1:25 — Kevin Hayes talks all things Flyers and the NHL stoppage

7:30 — No fans during the Stanley Cup Playoffs?

14:50 — An interview with Rick Tocchet and Keith Jones

18:00 — Should the NHL change the playoff format?

24:00 — Life without Flyers hockey right now

30:30 — Debating our all-time Flyers team

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Gritty all over the place, funny Penguins moments as Flyers roll their rival in NHL 20

Gritty all over the place, funny Penguins moments as Flyers roll their rival in NHL 20

Because of the coronavirus outbreak, which has suspended the 2019-20 NHL season, the Flyers did not get a chance to beat the Penguins last Sunday in Philadelphia.

They did, however, dominate them on NHL 20 Thursday night as NBC Sports Philadelphia aired a simulation with the great trio of Jim Jackson, Keith Jones and Taryn Hatcher on the call.

The Flyers never trailed in beating Pittsburgh, 6-4, at the Wells Fargo Center.

Michael Raffl led the way with a pair of first-period goals. Kevin Hayes (one goal, one assist), James van Riemsdyk (one goal, one assist), Matt Niskanen (two assists), Travis Sanheim (two assists) and Nate Thompson (two assists) all had multi-point games.

Oh, and Gritty enjoyed the win. So did Claude Giroux.


Raffl's goals were massive in setting the tone during the opening 20 minutes. Despite allowing four markers, Carter Hart made a ton of timely saves, especially in the first period.

On Raffl's first goal, Penguins forward Conor Sheary got stuck right in the middle of the Flyers' celebration. Poor guy.

On Raffl's second goal, Penguins forward Evan Rodrigues tripped right over his goalie Matt Murray as the Flyers were celebrating.


A big storyline in the Flyers' win was Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin being held to no goals.

As you can see, there were some daring Penguins fans in attendance. We have a strong feeling they were welcomed kindly by Flyers fans.

Just like in real life, the Flyers were very defensive of the 21-year-old Hart. Get close to the kid, you've got problems.


Tyler Pitlick added clutch secondary scoring during the second period to give the Flyers a 3-1 edge.

Gritty, with the neck of an owl, enjoyed his view in the middle stanza.

"He's always got a good spot," Jackson said.

"He's usually got some popcorn to dump on a Penguins fan's head," Jones said.

Unfortunately, that did not happen (let's be real, it probably did).

Justin Braun, Hayes and van Riemsdyk (empty-netter) tallied goals in the final stanza to seal the Flyers' win. 

The Penguins' goals came from Brandon Tanev, Patric Hornqvist, Teddy Blueger and Marcus Pettersson.

That's not going to do it against this 2019-20 Flyers team, which has dominated in Philadelphia.

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